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CLAS 205 A: Bioscientific Vocabulary Building From Latin and Greek

Text for Clas 205
Meeting Time: 
MWF 8:30am - 9:20am
DEN 212
Anna at the British Museum
Anna Simas

Syllabus Description:

CLAS 205 A - Bioscientific Vocabulary Building from Latin and Greek

Spring 2022 – MWF 8:30-9:20 a.m., DEN 212

Instructor: Dr. Anna Simas
Office Hour: Mondays 2:30-3:30 p.m. via Zoom, or by appointment

Department Course Coordinator: Professor Alain M. Gowing Email:

Required Text:
• Donald M. Ayers, Bioscientific Terminology: Words from Latin and Greek Stems (The University of Arizona Press). Either the physical or digital copy is acceptable, and both are available through the University Bookstore.

Recommended Reference Texts:

  • Any reputable English dictionary with etymological entries, such as The American Heritage Dictionary (3rd ed.), or Webster’s New World Dictionary.
  • You might also find it useful to have access to a good medical dictionary. Examples: Dorland’s, Steadman’s, Taber’s, Mosby. You can find these via the UW Libraries website or online.

The primary goal of this course is to improve your understanding of technical vocabulary used in the biological sciences. You will learn to assess the meaning of words by breaking them down into component parts that derive from Latin and ancient Greek. By the end of the quarter, you should be at ease in identifying rare medical or scientific terminology. No knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.

Successful completion of this class requires a great deal of memorization. Students must keep up with the assignments and review the contents of each lesson regularly.

Policy matters:

Covid. This class is conducted in person, but all PowerPoint slides will be available to everyone. If you must miss class, please let me know, and I can make old lecture recordings available to you. To protect your fellow students, faculty, and staff, if you feel ill or exhibit possible COVID symptoms, please do not come to class. If you are feeling at all unwell, please stay home! You are welcome to reach out to me via email or to each other on Discord if, after reviewing the lecture materials, you still have questions. When absent, it is your responsibility to keep up with readings, quizzes, and review PowerPoint slides (or ask for old lecture recordings) as outlined in the syllabus. Everyone will be encouraged to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask at all times in the classroom, especially during the first two weeks of the quarter. You are strongly encouraged to enroll in Husky Coronavirus Testing, which is free and available to all students.

Emails. Due to the large volume of emails I receive on a daily basis, it may take me up to 24 hours to respond to your email, and I do not generally answer emails or check the course Discord on the weekends. Please be sure to include "CLAS 205" in the subject line of your email. 

Office Hours. My office hours are for you! You should feel free to stop by my virtual office to discuss anything from grades to questions about the syllabus or readings to ideas you’ve had about response papers to requests for help/guidance/resources/personalized contact. I am here for you and happy to discuss your needs and concerns. Plus, I would so much rather talk to you all during my office hours than sit and stare at my own face on screen!

Grade Concerns. Per university policy, I cannot discuss grades in class or via email.  If you have concerns about your grade, I would be happy to set up a one-on-one Zoom meeting with you—just send me an email to schedule it.

Student conduct.  The University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) defines prohibited academic and behavioral conduct and describes how the University holds students accountable as they pursue their academic goals. Allegations of misconduct by students may be referred to the appropriate campus office for investigation and resolution. More information can be found online at

Academic Integrity.  The University takes academic integrity very seriously. Behaving with integrity is part of our responsibility to our shared learning community. If you’re uncertain about if something is academic misconduct, ask me. I am willing to discuss questions you might have.

Acts of academic misconduct may include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating (working collaboratively on quizzes, sharing answers)
  • Plagiarism (representing the work of others as your own without giving appropriate credit to the original author(s))
  • Unauthorized collaboration (working with each other on homework, assignments, or quizzes)
  • Concerns about these or other behaviors prohibited by the Student Conduct Code will be referred for investigation and adjudication by Community Standards & Student Conduct (CSSC).

Students found to have engaged in academic misconduct may receive a zero on the assignment.

Religious Accommodations. Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (

Disability Accommodations.  Your experience in this class is important to me. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please activate your accommodations via myDRS so we can discuss how they will be implemented in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), contact DRS directly to set up an Access Plan. DRS facilitates the interactive process that establishes reasonable accommodations. Contact DRS at

If you need help.  Here’s a list of resources:

Homework: To help you stay on track with memorization, there are 5 homework assignments in the format of Canvas quizzes that consist of vocabulary items from recent reading. They are open-note and are each worth 10 points.

Tests: There will be four tests, worth 85 points each, given over the course of the quarter. These will be available on Canvas and you will have 60 minutes to complete the tests. You may complete the tests anytime during a 24-hour period (12 a.m.-11:59 p.m.), but once you begin a test you must complete it within 60 minutes. There will be no in-class meetings on test days. Tests are closed-book and closed-note.

Participation: Consistent participation in class counts for 10 points. Participation depends on your willingness to engage with the material during class. Please come to class on time and prepared to contribute.

Extra Credit: There will be an extra credit assignment worth 15 points due by the end of

the quarter. There will also be questions at the end of each test worth 5 extra credit points.

Grading breakdown:

Homework: 5 x 10 = 50 points

Tests: 4 x 85 = 340 points

Participation: 10 points


Total: 400 points


4.0: 400-381

3.0: 320-312

2.0: 230-221

1.0: 130-120  

3.9: 380-371

2.9: 311-302

1.9: 220-211

0.9: 119-109

3.8: 370-366

2.8: 301-293

1.8: 210-201

0.8: 108-98

3.7: 365-361

2.7: 292-284

1.7: 200-191

0.7: 97-87

3.6: 360-356

2.6: 283-275

1.6: 190-181

0.0: 86 or fewer*

3.5: 355-351

2.5: 274-266

1.5: 180-171


3.4: 350-345

2.4: 265-257

1.4: 170-161


3.3: 344-337

2.3: 256-248

1.3: 160-151


3.2: 336-329

2.2: 247-239

1.2: 150-141


3.1: 328-321

2.1: 238-231

1.1: 140-131


*Note: In order to pass this class, you must receive 87 points or greater. If you are taking the class on a Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory basis, you must receive a 2.0 or greater for a grade of “S.”

All readings and assignments are due on the day they are listed on the syllabus.





Week 1 (3/28-4/1)

Introduction and syllabus

Introduction to PIE

Lesson 1

Week 2 (4/4-4/8)

Lessons 2 and 3

Lesson 4

Lessons 5 and 6

Homework 1

Week 3 (4/11-4/15)

Lessons 7 and 8

Lessons 9 and 10

TEST 1 (1-10) (on Canvas)

No class meeting

Week 4 (4/18-4/22)

Lesson 11

Lessons 12 and 13

Lessons 14 and 15

Homework 2

Week 5 (4/25-4/29)

Lesson 16

Lessons 17 and 18

Lessons 19 and 20

Week 6 (5/2-5/6)

Test 2 (11-20) (on Canvas)

No class meeting

Lesson 21

Lessons 22 and 23

Week 7 (5/9-5/13)

Lessons 24 and 25

Homework 3

Lessons 26 and 27

Lessons 28 and 29

Week 8 (5/16-5/20)

Lesson 30 (asynchronous video)

No class meeting

Homework 4

No class meeting

TEST 3 (21-30) (on Canvas)

No class meeting

Week 9 (5/23-5/27)

 Lessons 31 and 32

Lessons 33 and 34

Lessons 35 and 36

Week 10 (5/30-6/3)

Memorial Day (No Class Meeting)

Lessons 37-39

Homework 5

Lesson 40

TEST 4 (31-40): Tuesday, June 7 on Canvas

*I reserve the right to modify the syllabus at any time.*

Catalog Description: 
Designed to help the student master the scientific vocabulary of his or her particular field by a study of the Latin and Greek roots that are used to create the majority of scientific terms. No auditors. Knowledge of Latin or Greek is not required. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
September 15, 2022 - 9:57pm